Blithe Spirit (1945) Movie Script

NOEL COWARD: We are quite, quite wrong!
Once upon a time,
there was a charming country house,
in which lived a very happily married couple.
- Edith, you know the cocktail shaker?
- Yessum.
Well, l want you to fill two of those long-stemmed
glasses from it and bring them up here.
And, Edith, as you're not in the Navy,
it's unnecessary to do everything at the double.
And, Edith, when you're serving dinner,
try to remember to do it calmly and methodically.
- Yessum.
- Now, go and get the cocktails.
- Not at a run, Edith.
- Yessum.
What do you suppose induced Agnes
to leave us and go and get married?
The reason was becoming
increasingly obvious, dear.
Yes, we must keep Edith in the house more.
- Oh, dear.
- What's the matter?
- l have an idea this evening's going to be awful.
- l think it'll be funny, but not awful.
Why did you ask the Bradmans, darling?
He's as sceptical as we are.
- He'll probably say the most dreadful things.
- l warned him.
There had to be more than three of us
and the vicar and his wife are a) dreary
and b) wouldn't have approved at all.
You must promise not to catch my eye. lf
l giggle, and l'm very likely to, it'll ruin everything.
You mustn't. You must be dead serious
and, if possible, a little intense.
We can't hurt the old girl's feelings,
however funny she is.
That was her.
Oh. That's her, is it?
l've seen her in the village several times.
She certainly is a strange woman.
The vicar told me he saw her up on the knoll
on Midsummer Eve dressed in lndian robes.
She's been a professional in London for years.
lt's funny. l mean, to think of people
doing it as a profession.
l believe it's very lucrative.
- What is Mr Condomine getting out of her?
- Material for his book, a mystery story.
To The Unseen.
l must say, that's a wonderful title.
lf this evening's a success,
l shall write the first draft tomorrow.
Was Elvira a help to you,
when you were thinking something out?
Poor Elvira.
lf l died before you'd grown tired of me,
l wonder if you'd forget me so soon?
- What a horrible thing to say.
- l think it's interesting.
l haven't forgotten Elvira.
l remember her very distinctly indeed.
l remember how fascinating she was
and how maddening.
l remember her gay charm when she'd achieved
her own way and her acidity when she didn't.
l remember her physical attractiveness,
which was tremendous,
and her spiritual integrity, which was nil.
Was she more physically attractive than l am?
That's a very tiresome question
and fully deserves the wrong answer.
- You really are very sweet.
- Thank you.
- And a little naive, too.
- Why?
Because you imagine that l mind about Elvira
being more physically attractive than l am.
- l love you, my love.
- l know you do.
But not the wildest stretch of the imagination
could describe it as the first careless rapture.
- Would you like it to be?
- Good heavens, no.
Wasn't that a shade too vehement?
We're neither of us adolescent, Charles, or have
led prim lives. We've both been married before.
A careless rapture would be incongruous
and embarrassing.
l hope l haven't been a disappointment.
Don't be so idiotic.
Your first husband was older than you.
l wouldn't like you to miss out all along the line.
There are moments, Charles,
when you go too far.
Sorry, darling.
lf l died, l wonder how long it would be
before you married again.
You won't die. You're not the dying sort.
- Neither was Elvira.
- She was, now l come to think of it.
She had a certain ethereal quality.
Nobody could call you even remotely ethereal.
- Nonsense. She was of the earth, earthy.
- Yes, well, she is now, anyhow.
That's the kind of observation
that shocks people.
Discouraging to think how many are shocked
by honesty and how few by deceit.
- Write that down. You might forget it.
- You underrate me.
lt was a question of bad taste
more than honesty.
l was devoted to Elvira. We were married
five years. She died. l missed her very much.
That was seven years ago. l have now,
with your help, risen above the whole thing.
- Probably the Bradmans.
- Might be Madame Arcati.
Shall l go or shall we let Edith have her fling?
She's probably in a pre-sprinting position
waiting for Cook to open the kitchen door.
- Steady, Edith.
- Yes, sir.
Not late, are we? l only got back
from the hospital half an hour ago.
- Madame Arcati isn't here yet.
- We saw her coming up the hill on her bicycle.
- l'm so glad you could come.
- We've been looking forward to it. l feel excited.
- Violet will be good. l made her promise.
- Fine. Here, come and have a drink.
Oh, thanks so much.
Do you think there's anything
really genuine about it at all?
l'm afraid not, but it's interesting how easily
people allow themselves to be deceived.
She must believe it herself
or is the whole business a fake?
l suspect the worst, a real professional
charlatan. That's what l'm hoping for.
The character for my book must be a complete
impostor, the most important factor of the story.
- Do you think she tells fortunes? l love that.
- Yes, l expect so.
Have you attended her, Doctor, professionally?
Oh, yes. She had influenza.
She's only been here just over a year.
- Here she is.
She knows, doesn't she, about tonight?
- You won't spring it on her?
- lt was all arranged last week.
l told her how profoundly interested l was
and she blossomed like a rose.
l really feel quite nervous, as if l'm going
to make a speech. Go and meet her, darling.
MADAME ARCATl: Oh, good evening.
- Hm?
l've leant my bike up against that bush out there.
lt'll be perfectly all right.
- How nice to see you.
- My dear Madame Arcati.
l had a presentiment that l was going to have
a puncture, so l went back to fetch my pump.
- Then l didn't have a puncture.
- Perhaps you will on the way home.
Oh, thank you.
- You know...
- Dr Bradman.
- The man with the gentle hands.
- Delighted to see you looking so well.
- My wife.
- We're old friends. We meet in shops.
- Would you like a cocktail?
- lf it's a dry Martini, yes.
lf it's a concoction, no. Experience
has taught me to be wary of concoctions.
- lt is a dry Martini.
- Delicious.
We do appreciate your coming all this way.
Nonsense. lt was wonderful cycling through
the woods. l was deafened with birdsong.
lt's been lovely all day.
Ah, but the evening's the time. Mark my words.
Thank you.
Cheers. Cheers.
Don't you find it tiring, bicycling everywhere?
lt stimulates me.
l was getting far too sedentary in London.
That horrid little flat with dim lights.
They had to be dim. The clients expect it.
This is the best dry Martini l've had for years.
- Would you like another?
- Certainly.
l must say, l find bicycling very exhausting.
A steady rhythm, that's what does it.
Once you get the knack,
you never look back. Away you go.
But the hills, Madame Arcati,
pushing up those awful hills.
Just knack again.
Down with your head, up with your heart
and you're over the top like a flash
and skimming down the other side
like a dragonfly.
Dinner is served, ma'am.
Thank you, Edith.
- Oh, no red meat, l hope?
- There's meat, but l don't think it'll be very red.
l make it a rule
never to eat red meat before l work.
- Would you rather have an egg or something?
- Oh, no, thank you. We'll risk it.
lt's just that it sometimes has an odd effect.
- What sort of effect?
- Nothing of the least importance.
Thank you.
How do you get in touch with people
on the other side, Madame Arcati?
Through a control, of course.
ln my case, a little girl. They're the best.
Some mediums prefer lndians,
but l've always found them unreliable.
ln what way, ''unreliable''?
They're frightfully lazy.
Also, when faced with any sort of difficulty,
they're apt to go off into their own
tribal language, which is unintelligible.
That spoils everything and wastes time.
Do you feel funny when you go off into a trance?
ln what way, ''funny''?
l don't think she means ''funny'' in its comic
implication. l think she meant ''strange'' or ''odd''.
The word was an unfortunate choice.
Oh, l'm sure l'm very sorry.
lt doesn't matter in the least.
Please don't apologise.
When did you first discover
that you had these remarkable powers?
When l was quite tiny.
My mother was a medium before me,
so l had every opportunity
of starting on the ground floor.
l had my first trance when l was four years old
and my first ectoplasmic manifestation
when l was five and a half.
What an exciting day that was!
l shall never forget it.
Of course, the manifestation was quite small
and of very short duration,
but for a child of my tender years
it was most gratifying.
Can you tell fortunes?
Certainly not.
l disapprove of fortune-tellers most strongly.
(Ruth clears her throat)
Edith, we don't want to be disturbed for
the next hour or so for any reason whatsoever.
- ls that clear?
- Yessum.
- Unless it's an urgent call for George.
- Unless it's an urgent call for Dr Bradman.
Well, Madame Arcati, the time is drawing near.
- Who knows? lt may be receding.
- How very true.
l hope you feel in the mood, Madame Arcati.
lt isn't a question of mood,
it's a question of concentration.
You must forgive us being impatient.
We can easily wait if you're not ready to start.
Nonsense, my dear. l'm absolutely ready.
Hey-ho, hey-ho, to work we go!
ls there anything you'd like us to do...
well, hold hands or anything?
All that will come later.
First, a few deep, deep breaths of fresh air.
You may talk, if you wish.
lt won't disturb me in the least.
An excellent dinner, l congratulate you.
- The mousse wasn't quite right.
- lt looked hysterical, but tasted delicious.
- That cuckoo's very angry.
- l beg your pardon?
l said, that cuckoo was very angry. Listen.
How do you know?
No moon. That's as well, l think.
A mist rising from the marshes.
There's no need for me to light my bicycle lamp?
No-one's likely to fall over it?
- No. We're not expecting anyone else.
- Splendid.
Good night, foolish bird.
- You have a table?
- We rather thought that one might do.
l think the one there would be better.
Over here, Mr Condomine, please.
This is a moment that l always hate.
- Are you nervous?
- Yes.
- When l was a girl, l always used to be sick.
- How fortunate that you grew out of it.
Children are always much more prone to be sick
than grown-ups.
? Little Tommy Tucker sings for his supper
? What should he have
but brown bread and butter?
l despise that because it doesn't rhyme at all,
but Daphne loves it.
Who's Daphne?
- Madame Arcati's control. She's the little girl.
- Oh, yes, yes. Of course. l see.
- How old is she?
- Rising seven when she died.
MRS BRADMAN: And when was that?
- February 6th 1 884.
A bit long in the tooth by now, l should think.
You should think, but l fear you don't,
at least, not profoundly enough.
Please forgive me.
l assure you, l'm deeply interested.
lt's of no consequence.
Now, will you all sit round the table, please,
and place your hands downwards on it.
Come, Mrs Bradman.
- What about the lights?
- All in good time, Mr Condomine.
Now, sit down, please.
? Diddily-dum-dum dum-dum dum-dum
? The fingers should be touching
That's better.
l presume that's the gramophone?
- Would you like me to start it for you?
- No, please stay where you are. l can manage.
What have we here? Brahms? Oh, dear me, no.
Rachmaninoff? Too florid.
Where's the dance music?
- They're the loose ones on the left.
- None of them are very new.
Daphne's really more attached to lrving Berlin
than to anyone else.
She likes a tune she can hum.
Oh, here's one. ''Always.''
- Always?
- What's the matter?
Er...nothing, darling. Nothing at all.
Now, there are one or two things l would like
to explain, so will you all listen attentively?
When the music begins,
l'm going to switch out the lights.
l may then either walk about the room for a little
or lie down flat.
ln due course, l shall draw up that stool
and join you at the table.
l shall place myself between you and your wife
and rest my hands lightly upon yours.
l must ask you not to address me
or move or do anything distracting.
- ls that quite clear?
- Perfectly.
l can't guarantee that anything will happen at all.
Daphne may be unavailable.
She had a head cold recently
and was rather under the weather.
On the other hand,
a great many things might occur.
One of you might have an emanation,
for instance,
or we might contact a poltergeist,
which would be destructive and noisy.
- ln what way destructive?
- They throw things, you know.
No, l didn't know.
- Now, are you ready to empty your minds?
- You mean, you want us to think of nothing?
Absolutely nothing. Concentrate on a space or
on a nondescript colour. That's the better way.
- l'll do my level best.
- Good work.
Oh, dear.
ls there anyone there? ls there anyone there?
One rap for yes.
Two raps for no.
ls there anyone there?
ls that you, Daphne?
ls your cold better, dear?
Oh, l'm so sorry. Are you doing anything for it?
l'm afraid she's very fretful.
ls there anyone there
who wishes to speak to anyone here?
Ah, now we're getting somewhere.
Oh, no, Daphne. Don't do that, dear.
You're hurting me. Daphne, dear, please!
Oh, be good, there's a dear child.
l am sorry.
You say there's someone there
who wishes to speak to someone here?
ls it me?
ls it Dr Bradman?
ls it Mrs Bradman?
ls it Mrs Condomine?
Oh, stop it, Daphne. Behave yourself.
ls it Mr Condomine?
There's someone who wishes to speak to you.
- Let 'em leave a message.
(Table rocks violently)
l really must ask you
not to be flippant, Mr Condomine.
Charles, how can you be so idiotic?
You'll spoil everything.
l'm sorry. lt just slipped out.
Do you know anyone
who has passed over recently?
Not recently, except my cousin in the civil
service, and we haven't spoken for years.
Are you Mr Condomine's cousin
in the civil service?
No, no. l'm afraid we've drawn a blank.
Try and think of someone else.
Rack your brains.
lt might be old Mrs Plummet.
She died on Whit Monday.
Why should old Mrs Plummet wish to speak
to me? We had very little in common.
lt's worth trying.
Are you old Mrs Plummet?
She was deaf. Perhaps you'd better shout.
(Louder) Are you old Mrs Plummet?
No, there's nobody there at all.
- Just as we were getting on so nicely.
- Violet, be quiet.
l'm afraid there's nothing for it
but for me to go into a trance.
- Excuse me while l start the gramophone.
- Not Always. Don't play Always.
l must. lt would be imprudent to change horses
in midstream, if you know what l mean.
Oh, well, have it your own way.
(Madame Arcati inhales deeply)
(Exhales deeply)
(ln little girl's voice) Little Tommy Tucker
sings for his supper.
What shall we give him
but brown bread and butter?
- Daphne ought to have had her adenoids out.
- George, please!
- Good heavens.
- Sh!
lt's trying to get away. l can't hold it.
Press down hard.
Ought we to pick it up or leave it where it is?
- How the devil should l know?
- No need to snap at me.
l suppose we'd better pick it up.
WOMAN: Leave it where it is.
Who said that?
- Who said what?
- Somebody said, ''Leave it where it is.''
- Nonsense, dear.
- l heard it distinctly.
- Nobody else did, did they?
- l never heard a sound.
- lt was you, Ruth. You're playing tricks.
- l'm doing nothing of the sort.
WOMAN: Good evening, Charles.
Ventriloquism, that's what it is.
RUTH: What's the matter with you?
- One of you must have heard that.
Heard what?
You mean to tell me
none of you heard anything at all?
- l certainly didn't .
- Neither did l. l should love to hear something.
lt's you who are playing the tricks.
You're trying to frighten us.
l'm not. l swear l'm not.
Difficult to think of what to say after seven years.
''Good evening'' is as good as anything else.
Who are you?
Elvira, of course.
Don't be so silly.
l can't bear this.
Get up. The entertainment's over.
Charles, how tiresome of you.
Just as we were beginning to enjoy ourselves.
Never again.
Never, never again, as long as l live.
Did you hear something we didn't hear?
No, of course not. l was only pretending.
l knew you were.
Oh, dear. Look at Madame Arcati.
RUTH: What are we to do with her?
Bring her round as soon as possible.
DR BRADMAN: She's out, all right.
lt's dangerous to leave her like this.
Really, Charles,
you're behaving most peculiarly.
Madame Arcati, wake up! Time to go home!
- Steady.
- Get some brandy.
What on earth's the matter with you?
CHARLES: Get some brandy!
Help me. l'll take the feet. Lift her into the chair.
Wake up, Madame Arcati.
Little Tommy Tucker, Madame Arcati!
Here's the brandy.
- She's coming round.
- Charles, you're spilling it down her dress.
Well, that's that.
- Are you all right?
- Certainly l am. l never felt better in my life.
- Well, what happened? Was it satisfactory?
- Oh, nothing much happened after you went off.
Something happened, all right. l can feel it.
No poltergeists, at any rate. That's a good thing.
- Any apparitions?
- Not a thing.
- What? No ectoplasm?
RUTH: l'm not sure what that is. l don't think so.
Curious. l feel as if something tremendous
had taken place.
RUTH: Charles pretended he heard a voice
to frighten us.
Oh, it was only a joke.
A poor one, if l may say so.
l'm prepared to swear that there's someone else
psychic in this room apart from myself.
l don't really see how there could be.
l do hope l haven't released something.
However, we'll find out in a day or two.
lf any manifestations should occur or you hear
any unexpected noises, let me know at once.
RUTH: Oh, of course we will.
MADAME ARCATl: l must be on my way now.
- Wouldn't you like something before you go?
- No, l have some Ovaltine all ready at home.
lt only needs hotting up.
- Goodbye.
- lt was sweet of you to come.
l'm sorry so little occurred. lt's that cold of
Daphne's, l expect. You know what children are.
- We must try again some other evening.
- That would be lovely.
- Good night.
- lt was thrilling.
l felt the table absolutely shaking
under my hands.
- Good night, Doctor.
- Congratulations.
l'm fully aware of the irony in your voice.
You'd make an excellent subject
for telepathic hypnosis.
A great chum of mine's an expert.
l'd like her to look you over.
l'm sure l should be charmed.
- Well, good night, everyone.
ALL: Good night.
Thank you. Next time, we must really
put our backs into it. Good night.
Be careful. She might hear you.
l can't help it. l've been holding this in for ages.
But do you think she really believes?
The whole thing's a put-up job,
though she shoots a more original line
than they generally do.
MRS BRADMAN: l hope Mr Condomine
got all the atmosphere he wanted.
RUTH: He would have got more, if he hadn't
spoilt it by showing off. l'm very cross with him.
l suddenly felt a draught.
- There must be a window open.
- They're shut.
One of those what-d'you-call-'ems
Madame Arcati was talking about?
She distinctly said it was the wrong time
of the year for elementals.
The old girl went pedalling off
at a hell of a speed.
Had a bit of trouble lighting her lamp.
l've got a theory about her.
l believe she's completely sincere.
RUTH: Charles, how could she be?
DR BRADMAN: l've got to get up early
tomorrow. l have a patient in Canterbury.
MRS BRADMAN: lt's been thrilling.
lt was sweet of you to include us.
DR BRADMAN: Good night.
- Sure you won't have a drink?
Quite sure. l must do a little reading up
on the whole business, just for the fun of it.
We'll let you know if we find any poltergeists.
- l should never forgive you if you didn't.
- Come along.
RUTH: Well, darling?
- Well?
Would you say the evening had been profitable?
Hm, l suppose so.
RUTH: What's the matter?
CHARLES: Matter?
Yes, you seem odd, somehow.
- Do you feel quite well?
- Hm, l'm fine.
- l think l'll have a drink. Do you want one?
- No, thank you, dear.
Brr! lt's getting very chilly.
- Oh, my God!
(Glass shatters)
That was very clumsy, Charles, dear.
Elvira. Then, it's true. lt...
- lt was you.
- Of course it was.
Charles? Darling, Charles,
what are you talking about?
Are you a...
- a ghost?
- l suppose l must be.
lt's all very confusing.
What do you keep looking over there for?
What's happened?
- Don't you see?
- See what?
Elvira, dear, this is Ruth.
Ruth, this is Elvira.
Come and sit down, darling.
Do you mean to say you can't see her?
Charles, you just sit down quietly by the fire.
l'll fix you another drink.
Don't worry about the mess on the carpet.
But you must be able to see her.
She's here. Look. Right in front of you.
lf this is a joke, it's gone far enough.
Now, sit down and don't be idiotic.
Well, what am l to do?
What the devil am l to do?
l really think you might be a little more pleased
to see me. After all, you conjured me up.
l didn't do any such thing.
Nonsense. Of course you did.
That awful child with the cold came and told me
that you wanted to see me urgently.
lt was all a mistake, a horrible mistake.
Stop talking like that, Charles.
The joke's gone far enough.
l've gone mad. That's what it is.
l've just gone raving mad.
RUTH: Now, sit down.
Why are you so anxious for me to sit down?
What good will that do?
l want you to relax. You can't relax standing up.
African natives can.
They can stand on one leg for hours.
l don't happen to be an African native.
(Puts down decanter)
You don't happen to be a what?
An African native.
What's that got to do with it?
lt doesn't matter, Ruth. lt really doesn't matter.
We'll say no more about it.
- Look, l've sat down.
- Here. Drink this.
- Would you like some more?
- Yes, please.
- Very unwise. You always had a weak head.
- l could drink you under the table.
There's no need to be aggressive.
l'm doing my best to help you.
Now, drink this, then we can go upstairs to bed.
Get rid of her, Charles,
then we can talk in peace.
A thoroughly immoral suggestion.
What is there immoral in that?
- l wasn't talking to you, Ruth.
- Who were you talking to?
- Elvira, of course.
- Oh, to blazes with Elvira!
She's getting cross.
- l don't blame her.
- Look here, Charles,
l gather you've got some sort of plan
behind all this.
l'm not a fool.
Ruth, Elvira is here.
She's standing a few yards away from you.
l can see her distinctly, under the piano, with
the zebra. l'm not going to stay here arguing.
- Hooray!
- Shut up.
- How dare you speak to me like that.
- But...
l will not listen to any more of this nonsense.
l'm going upstairs to bed.
l shall leave you to turn out the lights.
l won't be asleep, l'm much too upset,
so you can come in
and say good night to me, if you feel like it.
That's big of her, l must say.
You're behaving like a guttersnipe.
That is all l have to say.
Good night, Charles.
That was one of the most enjoyable half hours
l've ever spent.
Oh, Elvira, how could you?
Poor Ruth.
This is some sort of hallucination, isn't it?
l'm afraid l don't know the technical term for it.
Where have you come from?
Do you know, it's very peculiar,
but l've sort of forgotten.
Will you be here indefinitely?
l'm afraid l don't know that, either.
Why? Would you hate it so much if l was?
You must admit, it would be embarrassing.
l don't see why, really.
lt's all a question of adjusting yourself.
Anyway, l think it's horrid of you
to be so unwelcoming and disagreeable.
- Look, here...
- l think you're mean.
Try to see my point of view. l've been married to
Ruth for five years, you've been dead for seven.
Not dead, Charles, ''passed over''.
lt's considered very vulgar to say ''dead''
where l come from.
Passed over, then.
l don't believe you love me any more.
l shall always love the memory of you.
Well, l really am a little hurt.
You called me back,
and at great inconvenience l came,
and you've been thoroughly churlish
ever since l arrived.
l most emphatically did not call you back.
There's been some mistake.
Perhaps it was your subconscious.
Find out if you're going to stay or not
and we can make arrangements.
l don't see how l can.
Well, try and think.
lsn't there anyone you know, that you can get
in touch with over there, who can advise you?
No. l can't think.
lt all seems so far away,
as though l'd dreamed it.
Oh, Charles.
What is it?
Well, l want to cry, but l don't think l'm able to.
What would you want to cry for?
Well, seeing you again and you being
so irascible like you always used to be.
- l don't mean to be irascible.
- Darling, l don't mind. l never did.
ls it cold being a ghost?
No, l don't think so.
What happens if l touch you?
l doubt if you can.
Do you want to?
Oh, Elvira.
What is it, darling?
lt certainly does seem strange seeing you again.
That's better.
- What's better?
- Your voice was kinder.
- Was l ever unkind to you when you were alive?
- Often.
- l'm sure you're exaggerating.
- Not at all.
You were an absolute pig that time we went
to Cornwall and stayed in that awful hotel.
You hit me with a billiard cue.
Mm, but only very, very gently.
l loved you very much.
l loved you, too.
No. l can't touch you.
lsn't that horrible?
Perhaps it's just as well
if l'm to stay here for any length of time.
Well, l suppose l shall wake up eventually,
but l feel strangely peaceful now.
- That's right. Put your head back.
- Like this?
Can you feel anything?
Only a very little breeze through my hair.
Well, that's better than nothing.
l suppose if l'm really out of my mind,
they'll put me in an asylum.
Don't you worry about that. Just relax.
- Poor Ruth.
- (Sniggers)
Nuts to Ruth.
MR CONDOMlNE: Good morning, Edith.
Good morning, sir.
- Feeling fit?
- Yes, sir. Thank you, sir.
- How's Cook?
- l don't know, sir. l haven't asked her.
You should begin every day by asking everyone
how they are. lt oils the wheels.
- Greet her for me, will you?
- Yes, sir.
- Good morning, darling.
- Good morning.
- lt certainly is.
- What certainly is what?
A good morning, a tremendously good morning.
Not a cloud in the sky
and everything looks newly washed.
- Anything interesting in the Times?
- Don't be silly.
- l intend to work all day.
- Good.
- lt's extraordinary about daylight, isn't it?
- How do you mean?
The way it reduces everything to normal.
l'm sure l'm very glad to hear it.
- You're very glacial.
- Are you surprised?
l take back what l said
about it being a good morning.
- lt's a horrid morning.
- You'd better eat your breakfast while it's hot.
lt isn't.
ln your younger days, this display
of roguish flippancy might have been alluring.
ln a middle-aged novelist, it's nauseating.
What have l done that's so awful?
You behaved abominably last night.
You wounded me and insulted me.
l was the victim of an aberration.
- Nonsense. You were drunk.
- Drunk?
You had two strong dry Martinis before dinner,
a great deal too much Burgundy at dinner,
heaven knows how much port with Dr Bradman
while l was entertaining that mad woman
and two large brandies later.
Of course you were drunk.
That's your story, is it?
l wasn't in the least drunk.
Something happened to me last night.
Something very peculiar happened to me.
- l really don't wish to discuss it further.
- You must. lt's very disturbing.
During the seance,
l was convinced l heard Elvira's voice.
- Nobody else did.
- l can't help that. l did.
You couldn't have.
Later on, l was equally convinced
she was in the room. l saw her and talked to her.
After you'd gone to bed,
we had quite a cosy little chat.
You seriously expect me to believe
that you weren't drunk?
l wasn't. lf l'd been all that drunk,
l should have a dreadful hangover.
l'm not at all sure you haven't.
l haven't got a trace of a headache.
My tongue's not coated. Look at it.
l've not the least desire to look at your tongue.
Put it in again.
Please, ma'am.
- Yes, Edith?
- Cook wants to know about lunch, ma'am.
- Will you be in to lunch?
- l shall be perfectly happy with a bottle of gin.
Don't be silly, dear.
- Tell Cook we shall both be in.
- Yessum.
l'm going into Hythe. ls there anything you want?
Yes, a great deal,
but l doubt if you can get it in Hythe.
- l've put Alka-Seltzer down on my list.
- Women! What l think of women.
Your view of women is academic. Just because
you've always been dominated by them,
it doesn't follow
that you know anything about them.
l've never been dominated by anyone.
Hag-ridden by your mother until you were 23,
then you got into the clutches of that awful Mrs...
- Mrs Winthrop Llewellyn.
- l'm not interested.
Then there was Elvira.
She ruled you with a rod of iron.
Elvira never ruled anyone. She was far
too elusive. lt was one of her greatest charms.
Then there was Maud Charteris.
lf you wish to make an inventory of my sex life,
you've missed out several episodes.
l'll consult my diary
and give you a complete list after lunch.
- Charles.
- Yes?
Alcohol will ruin your whole life
if you allow it to get a hold on you, you know.
Once and for all, Ruth, what happened last night
was nothing whatever to do with alcohol.
lt may have been
some form of psychic delusion,
but l was stone-cold sober from first to last
and extremely upset.
You were upset, indeed? What about me?
You behaved with an obtuse lack
of comprehension which shocked me.
lnstead of putting out a hand to guide me,
you shouted orders at me like a sergeant major.
You called me a guttersnipe.
You told me to shut up.
When l suggested that we should go to bed,
you said, with a most disgusting leer,
it was an immoral suggestion.
l was talking to Elvira.
lf you were, it conjures up a fragrant picture
of your first marriage.
lt was charming. lt's in the worst possible taste
for you to sneer at it.
l'm not interested in your first marriage.
lt's your second marriage that is absorbing me.
lt seems to me to be on the rocks.
Only because
you take up this ridiculous attitude.
My attitude is that of any normal woman whose
husband gets drunk and hurls abuse at her.
l was not drunk!
- Quiet. They'll hear you in the kitchen.
- l don't care if they hear me in Folkestone.
l was not drunk!
- Did you call, sir?
- No!
(Birds chirp)
Charles, dear, if you weren't drunk,
how do you account for it?
l can't account for it.
- What did you have for lunch?
- You ought to know. You had it with me.
Let me see.
There was lemon sole and that cheese thing.
Why should having a cheese thing for lunch
make me see my deceased wife after dinner?
- You never know. lt was rather rich.
- Why didn't you see your dead husband?
- This isn't getting us anywhere.
- No, of course it isn't.
- Charles, dear.
- Yes?
Perhaps there's something
pressing on your brain.
lf there was something pressing on my brain,
l should have violent headaches.
Not necessarily.
An uncle of mine had a lump the size of a cricket
ball pressing on his brain. He never felt a thing.
l should know if l had anything like that.
- He didn't.
- Well, what happened to him?
He had it taken out.
Been bright as a button ever since.
Did he have any delusions?
Did he think he saw things that weren't there?
No, l don't think so.
Then what the blazes are we talking
about him for? A waste of valuable time.
Well, l just brought him up as an example.
- How do you feel now?
- Physically, do you mean?
- Well, altogether.
- Apart from being worried, l feel quite normal.
Good. You're not seeing or hearing
anything in the least unusual?
Not a thing.
- What's the matter now?
- She's here again.
- What do you mean? Who's here again?
- Elvira.
You've absolutely ruined that border
by the sundial. lt looks like a mixed salad.
Charles, pull yourself together.
- All those nasturtiums. They're so vulgar.
- l like nasturtiums.
- You like what?
- They're all right in moderation.
ln a mass, like that, they look beastly.
- Ruth, you've got to help me.
- What did you mean about nasturtiums?
Never mind about that now.
l tell you, she's here again.
- You've been having some nice scenes.
- Mind your own business!
lf you behaving like a lunatic isn't my business,
what is?
l expect they were about me. l know
l ought to feel sorry, but l'm not. l'm delighted.
How can you be so inconsiderate?
l like that. l've done everything l can to help.
l've controlled myself admirably and l don't
believe a word about your beastly hallucination.
- Ruth, please...
- Don't come near me.
- A nice cry will do her good.
- You're utterly heartless.
- Heartless?!
- l wasn't talking to you. l was talking to Elvira!
Very well. Talk to her until you're blue
in the face, but don't talk to me.
- Help me, Elvira.
- How?
- Well, make her see you.
- l couldn't possibly manage that.
lt's technically the most difficult business,
frightfully complicated, takes years of study.
l don't care how technical it is. You've got to try.
You are here, aren't you? You're not an illusion.
No. l was afraid not.
Yes, but...
l don't mean to be rude, but you must see...
Yes. Well, you must make me a promise.
You only come and talk to me when l'm alone.
- That's better than not seeing me at all.
- Charles.
- l'm awfully sorry l was cross...
- But, my dear...
l understand everything now. l do, really.
- You do?
- Of course l do.
- Look out. She's up to something.
- Please be quiet.
Of course, darling. We'll all be quiet.
We'll be as quiet as little mice.
- But, Ruth...
- l want you to come upstairs and go to bed.
The way that woman harps on bed.
l'll deal with you later.
Very well, darling. Come along.
- What are you up to?
- l'm not up to anything.
Just go quietly to bed
and wait there till Dr Bradman comes.
No, Ruth, you're wrong!
She'll have you in a straitjacket.
Listen, Ruth, if l promise to go to bed,
- would you let me stay for five minutes longer?
- l think it...
However mad it may seem,
bear with me for just five minutes longer.
Very well. What is it?
Sit down.
- All right. There.
- Listen carefully.
Have a cigarette. lt'll soothe your nerves.
- l don't want a cigarette.
- Then you shan't have one.
l want to explain to you, calmly and without
emotion, that beyond any shadow of doubt,
the ghost or shade or whatever you like to call it
of my first wife Elvira is in this room now.
Yes, dear.
l know you're trying valiantly to humour me,
but l'm going to prove it to you.
- Promise you'll do what l ask.
- That depends on what it is.
- Ruth, you see this bowl of flowers on the table?
- Yes, dear, l did them myself.
- Very untidily, if l may say so.
- You may not.
Very well. l never will again. l promise.
Elvira will now carry the bowl of flowers
over to you and back again.
You will, Elvira, won't you? Just to please me.
Well, just once. Please?
Thank you.
- Now, watch carefully, Ruth.
- Yes, dear.
Well, go on, Elvira. Take them over to Ruth.
How dare you, Charles.
You ought to be ashamed of yourself.
What on earth for?
lt's a trick. l know it's a trick.
You've been working up to this.
lt's all part of some horrible plan.
lt isn't. l swear it isn't.
- For heaven's sake, do something else.
- Certainly. Anything to oblige.
You want to get rid of me.
You're trying to drive me out of my mind.
l'm not going to put up with this any longer.
- You must believe me. You must.
- Let me go.
- lt was Elvira. l swear it was.
- Let me go.
Ruth, please!
Charles, this is madness, sheer madness.
lt's some sort of autosuggestion, some form
of hypnotism. Swear to me it's only that.
Hypnotism, my foot!
My dear Mrs Condomine, how nice of you to call.
- l do hope it isn't inconvenient.
- Good heavens, no.
Come inside.
Oh, do go into the sitting room, Mrs Condomine.
You're just in time for a cup of tea,
if you don't mind China.
- Not at all.
- l never touch lndian. lt upsets my vibrations.
Do come and sit down.
Good egg! l'll have this made in a jiffy.
Madame Arcati, l'm profoundly disturbed
and l want your help.
Splendid. l thought as much. Well, fire away.
lt's most awfully difficult to explain.
Well, facts first, explanations afterwards.
lt's the facts that are so difficult to explain.
They are so fantastic.
Facts very often are.
Come now. Take the plunge. Out with it.
You've heard strange noises
in the night, no doubt.
Boards creaking? Doors slamming?
Subdued moaning in the passages?
- ls that it?
- No, l'm afraid it isn't.
No sudden gusts of cold wind, l hope?
No. lt's worse than that.
l'm all attention.
l know it sounds idiotic, but the other night,
during the seance, something happened.
l knew it.
Probably a poltergeist. They're enormously
cunning. They sometimes lie doggo for days.
(Squawks) Pretty boy, pretty boy,
pretty, pretty boy.
Now, carry on. l'm all ears.
- You know my husband was married before?
- Yes, l had heard it mentioned.
His first wife, Elvira, died comparatively young.
She was convalescing from pneumonia.
One evening she began to laugh helplessly at
a musical programme and died of a heart attack.
Just a moment, please.
Now, where did she die?
ln our present house.
l'm beginning to see daylight.
She materialised the other evening
after l'd gone.
Not to me, but to my husband.
Capital! Capital! Oh, but that's splendid.
At last! At last! A genuine materialisation.
Please sit down.
How could anyone sit down at such a moment?
lt's tremendous!
l haven't had such a success
since the Sudbury case.
Nevertheless, l must insist upon you sitting down
and controlling your exuberance.
l fully appreciate your pride in your achievement,
but it has made my position untenable.
l hold you entirely responsible.
Forgive me, Mrs Condomine.
l'm being abominably selfish.
How can l help you?
How? By sending her back
to where she came from, of course.
- Well, where is she now?
- My husband's driven her into Folkestone.
She was anxious to see an old friend
who's staying at The Grand.
This whole business is very difficult for Ruth.
Well, she should learn to be more adaptable.
Well, she probably will in time.
l doubt it, Charles.
She's got a hard mouth.
Her mouth gives her away.
Her mouth's got nothing to do with it.
l resent your discussing Ruth
as though she were a horse.
l take it your husband was devoted to her?
l believe so.
Husband devoted.
lt was apparently a reasonably happy marriage.
- You say she is visible only to your husband?
- Yes.
Audible, too, l presume?
Extremely audible.
- Do you love her?
- Yes, of course.
As much as you loved me?
CHARLES: Don't be silly. lt's entirely different.
You always behaved very badly.
l'm grieved to see that your sojourn in
the other world hasn't improved you in the least.
The time has come
for me to admit to you frankly, Mrs Condomine,
that l haven't the faintest idea
how to get rid of her.
Do you mean to sit there and tell me
that having mischievously conjured up this ghost
or spirit or whatever she is
and placed me in a hideous position,
you are unable to do anything about it?
Well, honesty is the best policy.
This is outrageous.
l ought to hand you over to the police.
You go too far, Mrs Condomine.
l go too far, indeed?
Do you realise what your insane
amateur muddling has done?
l have been a professional
ever since l was a child.
''Amateur'' is a word that l cannot tolerate.
lt seems to be the height of amateurishness to
invoke spirits and not be able to get rid of them.
l resent your tone, Mrs Condomine, l really do.
You have no right to.
You are to blame for the whole horrible situation.
May l remind you that l came to your house
on your own invitation?
On my husband's invitation.
lt was planned in order for him to get material for
a story he's writing about a homicidal medium.
Am l to understand that l was only invited
in a spirit of mockery?
No, no. He merely wanted to make notes
of some of the tricks of the trade.
''Tricks of the trade''?
l've never been so insulted in my life.
l feel we have nothing more
to say to one another.
But, Madame Arcati, please!
Your attitude has been most unpleasant
and your remarks discourteous in the extreme.
l would like to say that if you and your husband
have been foolish enough
to tamper with the unseen
for paltry motives and in a spirit of ribaldry,
whatever has happened to you is your own fault.
To coin a phrase, as far as l'm concerned,
you can stew in your own juice.
Good afternoon, Mrs Condomine.
- What on earth are you doing here?
- Calling on Madame Arcati.
- Whatever for?
- To get rid of me, to get me exorcised.
ls that true, Ruth?
- ls what true?
- You went to Madame Arcati to exorcise Elvira.
- We discussed the possibility.
- There's a snake in the grass for you.
- l'm afraid Elvira's sitting here.
- Oh, to blazes with Elvira!
You know, Charles,
she's absolutely ruined this room.
She's done nothing of the kind.
lt's all a question of taste.
My poor darling Charles.
As far as taste is concerned,
your second marriage was a disaster.
Just look at that awful picture
and that terrifying dress.
- What's the matter with it?
- What's the matter with what?
l think it's very charming.
The situation is impossible and you know it.
lf only you'd make an effort to be friendly
to Elvira, we might all have a jolly time.
l have no wish to have a jolly time with Elvira.
She's certainly very bad-tempered.
l can't think why you married her.
- Where is she at the moment?
- She's on the... ln the chair.
Oh, you are sweet, Charles, darling.
l worship you.
- l want to be perfectly frank with you, Elvira.
- Hold on to your hats, boys.
l admit l did see Madame Arcati
with a view to having you exorcised.
lf you'd been in my position,
you'd have done exactly the same.
What did Madame Arcati say?
- She couldn't do a thing.
- Hooray!
Don't be upset, Ruth, dear.
We shall adjust ourselves.
You must admit, it's a unique position.
No reason why we shouldn't get
a great deal of fun out of it.
How can you, Charles?
You must be out of your mind.
Yes, l thought l was at first.
Now, l must admit, l'm beginning to enjoy myself.
- Oh, this is intolerable!
- Don't get into another state.
l have been doing my level best
to control myself since yesterday morning
and l am not going to do it any more.
l don't like Elvira, any more than she likes me,
and l'm sure l never could have, dead or alive.
lf, since her untimely arrival, she'd shown
the slightest sign of good manners or breeding,
l might have felt differently toward her.
All she's done is make mischief,
to have private jokes with you against me.
Tomorrow, l'm going up to London
to see the Psychical Research Society.
lf they fail me, l shall go
to the Archbishop of Canterbury!
l shall be back on the 6:45. You and Elvira
can joke and gossip to your hearts' content.
lt's clouding over.
You have a genius for understatement.
Edith! Edith!
Cook! What on earth's happened?
Where's Edith?
- Charles?
- Nothing to worry about. Only a slight strain.
Oh, l'm so relieved,
but who was in the ambulance?
That, dear, was the gardener.
Men are much worse patients than women,
particularly highly-strung men.
- ls he highly strung?
- He's been overworking lately.
- Overworking?
- He's in a nervous condition.
- Nothing serious.
- What makes you think so?
- l know the symptoms.
- What symptoms?
lt's nothing to be unduly alarmed about.
A certain air of strain, an inability
to focus his eyes on the person he's talking to,
a few irrelevancies in his conversation.
l see. Can you remember any specific example?
He suddenly shouted,
''What are you doing in the bathroom?''
Then, a little later, he suddenly said,
''For heaven's sake, behave yourself.''
- Extraordinary. How is Edith?
- She'll be all right. Only a slight concussion.
(Door slams)
- How does it feel now?
All right. ls this sling essential? l had hoped
to drive into Folkestone this evening.
- Be much better if you didn't.
- You could wait and go tomorrow.
l can't stand another of those dreary evenings
at home. lt'll drive me dotty.
Besides, l haven't seen a movie for seven years.
Let me congratulate you.
- What's that, old man?
- Charles, do try to be sensible.
- Sorry. l forgot.
- You can drive, if you go very slowly.
Use your right arm as little as possible.
Thank you.
- Goodbye, Mrs Condomine.
- Goodbye.
- l'll pop round and see you tomorrow morning.
- Thank you.
- Goodbye.
- Goodbye.
- Yes?
- Where's Elvira?
- She slipped out of the front door.
- Are you sure she's not here?
- Yes. Quite sure.
- Good.
- l want to talk to you.
- Oh, dear.
You're not going to start making scenes again?
This is a fight, Charles.
lt's a duel to the death between Elvira and me.
Melodramatic hysteria.
The poor little thing comes back trusting me
after all these years in the other...
Elvira is as trusting as a puff adder
and a good deal more dangerous.
She came here with one purpose only. lf you
can't see it, you're a bigger fool than l thought.
What purpose, beyond the natural desire
to see me again?
She was extremely attached to me, poor child.
Her purpose is obvious.
lt's to get you to herself for ever.
That's absurd. How could she?
- By killing you off, of course.
- Killing me off? You're mad.
Doesn't it strike you as peculiar that you all met
with violent accidents on the same day?
Why should she want to kill me? l could
understand her wanting to kill you, but me?
lf you were dead,
it would be her final triumph over me.
She'd have you for ever on her beastly
astral plane. l'd be left high and dry.
She's probably planning some sort of spiritual
remarriage. l wouldn't put anything past her.
Stop looking like a wounded spaniel
and concentrate. This is serious.
l'm going to see Madame Arcati. l don't care
how cross she is. She's got to help us.
Even if she can't get rid of Elvira, she must know
some method of rendering her harmless.
l'll be back in half an hour.
Tell Elvira l've gone to see the vicar.
This is appalling.
Never mind about that. Don't give yourself away
by so much as the flick of an eyelid.
- Look out.
- What?
- l merely said it was a nice lookout.
- What is a nice lookout?
The... The weather, Elvira.
l find it very difficult to believe
that you and Ruthie can't think of anything
more interesting to talk about than the weather.
Ah, but the glass has gone down and down.
lt's positively macabre.
Charles and l were not discussing the weather.
l was trying to persuade him
not to drive you into Folkestone.
lt would be bad for his arm
and you can easily go tomorrow.
However, as he seems determined
to place your wishes before mine in everything,
l really have nothing further to say.
l'm sure l hope
you both enjoy yourselves very much.
Are you ready?
- What for?
- To go to Folkestone, of course.
- l want a sherry first.
- l don't believe you want to take me at all.
lt'll be more sensible to wait until tomorrow.
lt's a filthy night.
- Oh, how familiar all this is.
- ln what way, ''familiar''?
All through our married life, l only had to suggest
something for you to start hedging me off.
l wasn't hedging you off. l merely said that l...
Oh, all right. We'll spend another nice, cosy,
intimate evening at home,
with Ruth sewing away
at that hideous table centre
and snapping at us like a terrier.
Ruth is perfectly aware the table centre's
hideous. lt's a birthday present for her mother.
lf you don't behave,
l shan't take you into Folkestone.
Oh, please, Charles, don't be elderly
and grand with me. Please, let's go now.
The car won't be back for half an hour at least.
- What do you mean?
- Ruth's taken it.
- She had to go and see the vicar.
- What?
What's the matter?
Are you saying that Ruth has taken the car?
Yes, to see the vicar, but she won't be long.
Oh, Charles. Oh, Charles.
What have you done?
- l haven't done anything.
- You're lying.
- What's there to lie about?
- Why are you in a state?
- You've done something dreadful.
- l haven't. l swear l haven't.
The car. That's it. The car.
- No, Charles, no.
- Ruth was right. You were trying to kill me.
Oh. Oh. Oh. Oh. Oh. Oh.
- Ruth!
(Ruth drives off)
Hello. Yes. Speaking.
The bridge at the bottom of the hill?
Yes. Yes. l'll come at once.
Well, of all the filthy low-down tricks.
Ow! Ruth!
Stop it!
Get away, you barmy spirit.
Leave me alone!
Leave me alo-o-o-one!
Oh, Ruth!
Oh, no! Leave me alone!
Oh, Ruth!
ELVlRA: Why did... ? (Squeals and sobs)
(Knock at door)
- Come in.
Thank you, Edith.
(Phone rings)
Oh, hello, Mr Condomine.
l hope you won't consider this an intrusion,
Mr Condomine,
but l felt a tremendous urge, like a rushing wind,
so l hopped on my bike and here l am.
l reproach myself bitterly. l threw out the sponge.
ln a moment of crisis, l threw out the sponge,
instead of throwing down the gauntlet.
Whatever you threw,
there's nothing whatever to be done.
Oh, but there is. There is.
l've found a formula.
lt came to me last night, Mr Condomine.
lt came to me in a blinding flash.
l'd finished my Ovaltine and turned out the light,
when l started up in bed with a loud cry.
''Great Scott!'' l said. ''l've got it.''
At three in the morning, with my brain seething,
l went to work on my crystal.
Pluck up your heart, Mr Condomine.
All is not lost.
l'm very glad to hear it, but l think
we should leave things as they are.
l... l... l...
Mr Condomine...
lf you'll pardon my bluntness,
Mr Condomine, l think you're a blithering idiot!
You're at liberty to think whatever you please.
Oh, well, have it your own way,
but l warn you that it's no good
locking the stable door after the horse has gone!
Charles, l can't stand this house another minute.
- l'm surprised at you.
- l don't care how surprised you are.
- l want to go home.
- Don't be childish.
l'm not being childish.
Ruth has hardly left my side for a minute.
- Well, is she here now?
- No, she's upstairs, lying down.
The funeral exhausted her.
This whole thing has been a failure.
A dreary, miserable failure
and, oh, what high hopes l started out with.
You can't expect much sympathy from me.
Your highest hope was to murder me.
Don't put it like that. lt sounds so beastly.
Anyway, it was only because l loved you.
The silliest thing l ever did
in my whole life was to love you.
You were always unworthy of me.
That remark comes perilously
near impertinence, Elvira.
l sat there on the other side, day after day,
just longing for you. l did, really.
That was why l put myself down for a return visit
and had to fill in all those forms
and wait about in draughty passages for hours.
lf only you'd died before you met Ruth,
everything might have been all right.
She's absolutely ruined you. l hadn't been
in the house for a day before l realised that.
Your books aren't as good
as they used to be, either.
Entirely untrue. Ruth encouraged me
in my work, which is more than you ever did.
That's probably what's wrong with it.
All you thought about was enjoying yourself.
Well, why shouldn't l have fun?
l died young, didn't l?
You needn't have died at all
if you hadn't gone out in that punt
with Guy Henderson and got soaked to the skin.
lt was not a punt. lt was a little launch.
l don't care if it was a three-masted schooner.
You had no right to go.
You behaved abominably over Guy Henderson.
- There's no use pretending you didn't.
- Guy adored me.
Anyway, he was very attractive.
You told me that he didn't attract you in the least.
You'd have gone through the roof,
if l'd told you that he did.
Anyway, you seem to forget why l went.
You seem to forget
that you spent the entire evening
making sheep's eyes
at that overblown harridan in the false pearls.
A woman in Cynthia Cheviot's position
would hardly wear false pearls.
They were practically all she was wearing.
l'm pained to observe that seven years
in the echoing vaults of eternity
have in no way impaired your native vulgarity.
That was the remark of a pompous ass.
- l'm sick of these insults. Please go away.
- Nothing l should like to do better.
You've got to get hold of that old girl and set her
to work. l won't tolerate this another minute.
For heaven's sake, don't snivel.
She's got to get me out of this.
- l want to go home.
- l quite agree and the sooner the better.
Looking back on our married years, l see now,
with horrid clarity, that they were a mockery.
You invite mockery, Charles.
lt's something to do with your personality,
a certain seedy grandeur.
- Once...
- You never suspected it,
but l laughed at you steadily
from the altar to the grave.
All your ridiculous petty jealousies
and your fussings and fumings.
You were feckless, irresponsible and morally
unstable. l realised that at Budleigh Salterton.
Nobody but a monumental bore
would have thought
of having a honeymoon in Budleigh Salterton.
What is the matter with Budleigh Salterton?
l was an eager young bride, Charles.
l wanted glamour and music and romance.
What l got was potted palms,
seven hours of every day on a damp golf course
and a three-piece orchestra
playing Merry England.
- Pity you didn't tell me so at the time.
- You wouldn't listen.
That was why l went out on the moors that day
with Captain Bracegirdle.
l was desperate.
You swore to me that you'd gone over
to see your aunt in Exmouth.
Mm, it was the moors.
- With Captain Bracegirdle.
- Hm, with Captain Bracegirdle.
With Captain Brace...
l might have known it.
What a fool l was. What a blind fool.
- Did he make love to you?
- Of course.
Oh, Elvira.
Only very discreetly.
He was in the cavalry, you know.
All l can say is that l'm well rid of you.
- Unfortunately, you're not.
- With any luck, l soon will be.
(Jaunty knock at door)
Ah, Mr Condomine.
Well, l can't say l'm entirely surprised.
l'm afraid l've broken your...
Do come inside.
Take off your coat.
Just sling it over the banisters.
l want you to meet my first wife Elvira.
Oh, my dear, how do you do?
No, she's not there. She's in the doorway.
- Are you happy, my dear?
- Tell the silly old bag to mind her own business.
Was the journey difficult?
- Are you weary?
- Oh, she's dotty!
This is wonderful. l almost have contact.
l can sense the vibrations.
But she's gone in there.
How fascinating.
Very interesting. l smell ectoplasm strongly.
What a disgusting thing to say.
Go on. Don't be a spoilsport.
Give her a bit of encouragement.
All right. Not that l approve
of these masculine and devant carryings-on.
(Ecstatic squeal)
Yes, yes! Again. Again.
- Ohh! Ooh!
- How's that?
This is first-rate. lt really is first-rate.
Absolutely stunning.
l'm so glad you're pleased.
You darling. You little darling.
Oh, stop her fawning on me, Charles,
or l'll break something.
Madame Arcati, Elvira and l
have discussed the whole situation
and she wishes to go home immediately.
- Home?
- Well, wherever she came from.
You don't think she'd like to stay a few days
longer while l get more organised?
No, no, no. l want to go now.
You said something about a formula. What is it?
- Oh, very well, if you insist.
- l most emphatically do insist.
Oh, Charles.
Shut up.
l can't guarantee anything.
l'll do my best, but it may not work.
- What is the formula?
- A little verse.
lt fell into disuse after the 1 7th century.
l shall need some pepper and salt.
Ah, here.
We ought to have some shepherd's wort
and a frog or two, but l can manage without.
- ls this enough?
- Yes, thanks.
Now, let me see.
This is going to be a flop.
l can tell you that, here and now.
Oh, steady.
Now a few snapdragons out of that vase.
(Clicks fingers)
lf that man at the Psychical Research Society
could see this, he'd have a fit. He would, really.
Now, then, sit down, Mr Condomine.
Rest your hands on the table,
but don't put your fingers in the pepper.
l shall switch out the lights myself.
Oh, shucks! l'd almost forgotten.
One triangle.
One half circle.
And one little dot.
Merlin does this sort of thing at parties
and bores us all stiff with it.
- lt's a waste of time. She's a complete fake.
- Anything's worth trying.
l am as anxious for it to succeed as you are,
don't make any mistake about that,
but l'll lay you ten to one it's a dead failure.
Now, Mr Condomine, if your wife
would be kind enough to lie down on the sofa.
- Go on, Elvira.
- This is sheer nonsense.
Don't blame me if l get the giggles.
Concentrate. Think of nothing.
That's right. You're quite right.
You won't be frightened, will you?
lt's absolutely painless.
Arms at the sides.
Legs extended.
Breathe steadily.
ln... Out.
- ls she comfortable?
- Are you comfortable, Elvira?
- No.
- Yeah, she's quite comfortable.
l shall join you in a minute. l may have to go into
a slight trance, but if l do, pay no attention.
Ah, ah, ah.
- (Giggles)
- Mr Condomine, concentrate!
Oh, dear. lt's the pepper.
(Chants) Ghostly spectre, ghoul or fiend,
never more be thou convened.
Shepherd's wort and holy rite,
vanish thee into the night!
- What a disagreeable little verse.
- Be quiet, Elvira.
ls there anyone there? ls there anyone there?
One rap for yes. Two raps for no.
ls there anyone there?
(Wind howls)
Good stuff.
ls that you, Daphne?
l'm sorry to bother you, dear,
but Mrs Condomine wants to return.
Now, then, Daphne.
Did you hear what l said?
Can you help us?
Hold on to it, Mr Condomine.
lt's trying to break away.
(Muffled whimpering)
What on earth's happening?
- Oh, oh, oh.
- What's the matter, Madame Arcati?
Oh, she's in one of her blasted trances again
and l'm as much here as ever l was.
Are you hurt? Wake up.
Oh, leave her alone.
She's having a whale of a time.
lf l ever do get back,
l'll strangle that ruddy little Daphne.
Oh, what happened?
- Nothing. Nothing at all.
- Yes, it did. Something happened.
You fell over. That's all that happened.
Oh, is she still here?
Well, something must have gone wrong.
Oh, make her do it again properly.
l'm sick of being messed about like this.
Be quiet. She's doing her best.
Something happened. l sensed it in my trance.
lt shivered through me.
Once and for all, Charles,
what the devil does this mean?
Well, l can't think
how l can have been such a duffer.
- l only hope you're on the right track now.
- Not a doubt of it.
l may promise you that next time
we shall be able to kill two birds with one stone.
l can't feel your simile is entirely fortunate.
Mind my crystal, Mr Condomine.
Ah. Well, now that we've returned to the scene
of the crime, everything will be plain sailing.
Are they gone?
- No.
- Oh.
Are they gone now?
Are they gone now?
(Chants) Hickory rod and birch in bud,
toad in the hole and toad in the mud...
..broomstick, Brocken and Halloween...
..make these furious spirits seem
nothing more than a ghastly dream!
Are they still here?
End of round six.
Oh. Well, cheer up, Mr Condomine.
Rome wasn't built in a day, you know.
This is definitely one of the most
frustrating nights l have ever spent.
The reply to that is pretty obvious.
l'm sure l don't know what you mean.
Ah, skip it.
Thank you. Oh, l'll just have another of those
delicious sandwiches. l'm as hungry as a hunter.
- Would you like a glass of beer?
- Better not.
Now, look here, Charles,
this has gone far enough.
We've stood up. We've lain down.
We've concentrated.
We've sat interminably while that tiresome
old woman recited unflattering verses at us.
We've endured five seances, watched her fling
herself in and out of trances until we're dizzy
and we're exactly where we were
at the beginning and l'm exhausted.
Well, l'm just as...
..exhausted. l've been doing
all the blasted table-tapping.
lt looks as if Elvira and l
will have to stay together
indefinitely in this house.
- You're not going to stay in this house.
RUTH: We shall have to be with you.
Well, l don't see why.
Why don't you take a cottage somewhere?
You called us back.
l've already explained till l'm black in the face
that l did nothing of the sort.
- Madame Arcati says you did.
- Madame Arcati is a muddling old fool.
lf she can't get us back, she can't.
We must try to think of something else.
She must get you back.
Anything else is unthinkable.
There's gratitude for you.
You've called us back and you've done
nothing but try to get rid of us ever since.
He certainly has.
Now, owing to your idiotic inefficiency,
we find ourselves in this mortifying position.
We're neither fish, flesh, fowl nor...
- Whatever it is.
ELVlRA AND CHARLES: A good red herring.
- Are the girls getting despondent?
- Yes, l'm afraid they are, rather.
Oh, we mustn't give up hope.
''Chin up. Never give in.'' That's my motto.
This schoolgirl phraseology is driving me mad.
- Now, then.
Now, then, what?
What do you say to another seance?
Really put our shoulders to the wheel,
make it a real rouser.
lf we're not careful,
she'll materialise a hockey team.
l implore you not to let her have another seance.
Before you go into any further trances,
l think we should discuss the situation.
Good. An excellent idea.
Well, fire away, Mr Condomine.
Well, my wives and l have been talking it over.
They're convinced that l, somehow or other,
called them back.
- Very natural.
- l'm equally convinced that l did not.
Well, neither of them could have appeared
unless there'd been some psychic subject
in the house who'd wished for them.
- Yes, well, it wasn't me.
- Perhaps it was Dr Bradman.
l never knew he cared.
Great Scott!
l believe l've been barking up the wrong tree.
- How do you mean?
- The Sudbury case.
- l don't understand.
- There's no reason why you should.
- Oh, l wonder...
- The Sudbury case? l wish you'd explain.
lt was the case that made me famous.
lt was what you might describe,
in theatrical parlance, as my first ''smash hit''.
l had letters from all over the world about it,
especially lndia.
l dematerialised old Lady Sudbury after she'd
been entrenched in the chapel for over 1 7 years.
- Can you tell me how?
- By chance. A fluke.
- By the merest coincidence.
- What did you do?
ln good time. Wait.
Now, who was present during our first seance?
Only the Bradmans
and Ruth and me and yourself.
- But the Bradmans aren't here tonight.
- No.
Quickly. My crystal.
- Here.
- Thank you.
Drat the thing! lt gives me the pip.
lt's cloudy again.
Oh, that's better. lt's there again.
l'm beginning to understand.
l wish l was. What's there again?
The bandage, the white bandage.
Hold on to a white bandage.
- l haven't got a white bandage.
- Sh!
She's too good, you know.
She ought to be in a circus.
Be you in nook or cranny, answer me.
Be you in still room or closet, answer me.
Be you behind the panel,
above the stairs, beneath the eaves,
waking or sleeping, answer me!
Well, that ought to do it or l'm a Dutchman.
- Do what?
- Sh, sh, sh! Wait.
lt's near.
lt's near. lt's very near.
ELVlRA: lf it's a ghost, l shall scream.
Did you ring, sir?
The bandage. The white bandage.
Hello, Edith.
l'm sorry, sir. l could have sworn l heard the bell
or somebody calling.
l was asleep. l don't rightly know which it was.
Come here, child.
Well, go on. Go to Madame Arcati.
lt's quite all right.
Who do you see in this room, child?
- Oh, dear.
- Answer, please.
- You, madam.
- Go on.
The master.
Anyone else?
Oh, no, madam.
- Look again.
- l don't understand, sir.
Oh, come, child, don't beat about the bush.
Look again.
Do you see anyone else now?
- Oh, no, madam.
- She's lying.
- Madam?
- They always do.
MADAME ARCATl: Where are they now?
By the piano.
She can see them.
Do you mean to say she can see them?
Probably not very clearly, but enough.
Let me go. l haven't done nothing
nor seen anybody. Let me go back to bed.
- Get her a sandwich.
- l don't want a sandwich.
- l want to go back to bed.
- Oh, nonsense.
There you are, dear.
A healthy girl like you saying no to a delicious
sandwich? l never heard of such a thing.
- Sit down, dear.
- Please, sir...
Do as Madame Arcati says.
lf she's been the cause of all this,
l shall give her a week's notice tomorrow.
You may not be here tomorrow.
Now, look at me, Edith.
Cuckoo, cuckoo, cuckoo.
Oh, dear. What's the matter with her?
ls she barmy?
Here, Edith.
This is my finger. Look.
Have you ever seen
such a long, long, long finger before?
Now it's on the left.
Now it's on the right.
Backwards and forwards it goes.
Very quietly, you see...
backwards and forwards.
Tick tock.
Tick tock.
The mouse ran up the clock.
- Be quiet. You'll spoil everything.
- Tick tock.
Tick tock. Tick tock.
Tick tock. Tick tock.
Tick tock. Tick tock.
Tick tock. Tick tock.
Rumpty-dumpty tiddly-um. Hi-tighty-oh-toe.
- So far so good. She's off, all right.
- Off?
She's a natural.
Just the same as the Sudbury case.
Really, it's the most amusing coincidence.
Now, then, if you'd ask your wives
to stand close together, please.
- Yes, yes. Where?
- Over there, by the window.
Ruth. Elvira.
- l resent being ordered about like this.
- l'm afraid l must insist.
l don't like this.
l don't like any of it.
l feel peculiar.
lt would serve you right
if we flatly refused to do anything at all.
Are you sorry for having been so mischievous?
Oh, yes, madam.
- You know what to do now, don't you?
- Oh, yes, madam.
l believe it's going to work, whatever it is.
- Oh, Charles.
- Sh!
This is goodbye, Charles.
Make her stop.
There's something l want to say before l go.
Too late now.
- Well, of all the mean, ungrateful...
- Charles, listen...
EDlTH: ? l'll be loving you
? Always
? With a love that's true
? Always
? When the things you've planned
need a helping...
l saw Captain Bracegirdle again, Charles,
several times.
l went to the 400 with him twice
while you were in Nottingham
and l must say
that l couldn't have enjoyed myself more.
Don't think you're getting rid of us so easily.
You may not be able to see us,
but we shall be here, all right.
? ..always
? When the things you've planned
? Need a helping hand...
They've gone.
They've really gone.
Splendid. Hurrah! We've done it.
- ?..always...
- That's quite enough singing.
You'd better wake her up.
She might bring them back.
Wake up, child.
- Where am l?
- lt's all right, Edith. You can go to bed now.
But l was in bed. How did l get down here?
l rang. l rang the bell and you answered it.
- Did l drop off? Do you think it's my concussion?
- Off you go, Edith.
Thank you very much.
Thank you very much, indeed.
Oh, sir, whatever for?
Oh, sir!
Well, what on earth did she mean by that?
Golly, what a night!
- l'm ready to drop in my tracks.
- l'm deeply grateful to you.
l trust that you'll send in your account
in due course.
Good heavens. lt was a pleasure.
l shouldn't dream of such a thing.
Would you like to stay in the spare room?
No, thanks.
Each to his own nest.
l'll pedal home in a jiffy. lt's only seven miles.
- l'll collect my tackle later on.
- Give me the pleasure of lunching with you.
When you come back, l shall be delighted.
Come back?
Take my advice and go away immediately.
But... You don't mean...?
This must be an unhappy house for you.
There must be memories, both grave and gay,
in every corner. Also...
Also what?
''There are more things in heaven and earth,''
Mr Condomine.
Just go. Pack up your traps
and go as soon as possible.
You don't mean they might still be here?
''Qui?n sabe?'' As the Spanish say.
Hm, l think l will take your advice,
Madame Arcati. Thank you very much.
Well, goodbye, Mr Condomine. lt's been
fascinating. From first to last, fascinating.
Don't bother to see me out. l can find my way.
Cheerio, once more, and good hunting!
Are you there?
l know darn well you are there.
l just want to tell you it's no use your hanging
around any longer, because l'm going away.
l'm going a long way away.
Somewhere where you won't be able to follow
me. l don't believe ghosts can travel over water.
ls that quite clear, my darlings?
You said, in one of your more acid moments,
Ruth, that l'd been hag-ridden all my life.
How right you were.
But now l'm free, Ruth, dear, not only of Elvira
and Mother and Mrs Winthrop Llewellyn,
but free of you, too.
l should like to take this farewell opportunity
of saying that l'm enjoying it immensely.
Oh. Thank you.
You were very silly, Elvira, to think l didn't know
about you and Captain Bracegirdle. l did.
What you didn't realise was that l was extremely
attached to Paula Westlake at the time.
(Engine starts)
Goodbye, for the moment, my dears.
We're bound to meet again one day,
but, until we do,
l'm going to enjoy myself
as l've never enjoyed myself before.
(Tyres screech, car crashes)